Whole House Humidifier Recommendation

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Old 02-11-09, 04:58 PM
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Whole House Humidifier Recommendation

I've recently begun researching adding a whole house humidifier after realizing how dry my house was. I could really use some help in figuring out what I need. I have a two story house with about 1600 square feet per floor - 2 rooms have 18 foot ceilings. I have two furnaces - one that services the upstairs, and one that services the downstairs. They are both Bryant model 310AAV/JAV. Both furnaces are gas. I've attached a picture with my setup.



Some of my questions are:
  • Do I need to have two humidifiers? One for each furnace?
  • Should I have a flow-through or a passive?
  • Are there specific brands or models that you recommend?

Thanks for all of your help!

Robert
 
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Old 02-11-09, 09:17 PM
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Is your floor plan pretty open up to the upstairs area from the main floor?

If the floor plans are open I'd start off with the lower furnace since the heat rises, and the humidity goes up with the heat, and the lower furnace may run more than the upstairs unit.

I perfer the by pass type, it's simple, and not much to go wrong with them vs the powered unit.

Both Honeywell, and Aprilaire units are good, they are pretty much the same other than the controls.

Honeywell is the basic dial.

Aprilaire is a digital control and can use the outdoor sensor, and a few extra wires is needed to hook up the control.
 
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Old 02-11-09, 09:49 PM
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I would say half the floor plan is open, and the other half closed. The two rooms with 18' ceilings are on the same side of the house.

Do you have any thoughts on using a saddle valve on the main supply line as the water source for the humidifier?
 
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Old 02-12-09, 07:27 AM
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For starter, I'd do the down stairs unit, and see how it works out, and if you find that it don't help, then add the 2nd humidifier.

If you are good with a torch, I'd add a "T" and put in a shut off valve. and go copper to the humidifier unit.

Here is mine.


I had to add a pressure regulatar on mine due to the water pressure we have here.
 
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Old 02-12-09, 08:31 AM
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Do you recommend against the saddle valve? I've never used a torch, and I'm not sure I want this to be my first time. The installation seems manageable, and I don't really want to get a professional. Though I suppose I could if I need to.

Assuming I went with the saddle valve, would you need two of them for 2 humidifiers? I'm still planning on trying just one humidifier first - I'm honestly just curious.

Is the outdoor air sensor worth it? It seems like it might be, but I've also read that it's a pain to install.

Thank you so much for your help. It's really appreciated.
 
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Old 02-12-09, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by raungst View Post
Do you recommend against the saddle valve? I've never used a torch, and I'm not sure I want this to be my first time.
Yeah, I am still against the saddle valve, they to me are "temp" valve, even tho they say it can be left for a long time. but to me a small pin hole waiting to be clogged up down the road.

So, since you never used a torch, Home Depot sells Shark Bite fittings.

Take a look at it here.

The have a "T" can you can use, and also threaded ends.

Assuming I went with the saddle valve, would you need two of them for 2 humidifiers? I'm still planning on trying just one humidifier first - I'm honestly just curious.
You would need two valves. YOu can add another Shark Bite if you need to.

Is the outdoor air sensor worth it? It seems like it might be, but I've also read that it's a pain to install.
I'd go for it. Where are you out of? I think they are good for areas the temps can be all over the board, and you don't have to Adj. the settings all the time.

Also, seeing your basement, you have an open area that should not be an issue getting the sensor wire outside.
 
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Old 02-15-09, 09:42 PM
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I'm in Denver, so the outdoor sensor is a must. It'll be 10 one day, and then 60 the next.

I've decided to go with the Aprilaire 600a. I've started to research the electrical connections and have some questions. My furnace has a 24V, 0.5A HUM terminal but I'm curious what people typically use for the continuously powered 24 VAC transformer? It says not to wire it into the blower circuit, so I assume this means that I need to get power from elsewhere in my basement, or is there someway to get it from the furnace?
 
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Old 02-16-09, 07:55 AM
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Not sure if you looked at the humidistat manual or not.

But, this is how I wire up the Apirlaire.

Humidistat-----------Furnace
R-------------------------R
C jumper over to Cf---- C
W/G----------------------Hum 24 volts.
 
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Old 02-16-09, 09:02 AM
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Apologize my ignorance, but by jumper you mean wire the C terminal to the Cf terminal, and then over to C on the furnace?

So if I did this, it would satisfy the part that says "Wire external 24 VAC transformer into a constant power source
other than the heating, ventilating, air conditioning equipment
(HVAC) blower circuit. The transformer can be powered off the
120 VAC line at the junction box before it enters the HVAC".

So I wouldn't need the 24 VAC transformer then? What does the jumper do?

Thank you so much for your help. I'm learning as much as I can.
 
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Old 02-16-09, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by raungst View Post
Apologize my ignorance, but by jumper you mean wire the C terminal to the Cf terminal, and then over to C on the furnace?
Correct.

So if I did this, it would satisfy the part that says "Wire external 24 VAC transformer into a constant power source
R and C on the board is your power source.

So I wouldn't need the 24 VAC transformer then?
No.
What does the jumper do?
Complete the circuit. To allow the display to show (C), and allow the water valve on the humidifier (Cf).
 
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Old 02-16-09, 09:50 AM
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Here's another question for you. Would it better to install the humidifier on the supply side or the return side?

I just want also verify that I understand things correctly also. For my furnace on the left side in the picture, the air runs in a U from right to left:

^v
| |
| |
|_|

The manual for the furnace seemed to indicate that the supply was on the left side in this case, but intuition would say the supply is on the right, since that's where the air is coming from.

Also, if you look at the picture, there's a tube that runs right in the middle of both sides, and I have stairs directly to the left. I can just install the humidifier and bypass on the rear side of the furnace, right?
 
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Old 02-16-09, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by raungst View Post
Here's another question for you. Would it better to install the humidifier on the supply side or the return side?
I perfer it on the return side.

I just want also verify that I understand things correctly also. For my furnace on the left side in the picture, the air runs in a U from right to left:
The air is going down in the duct on the right, over the air filter, into the furnace, in the blower, though the heat exchanger, over the A/C coil, and into the home.

When the furnace is running, you put your hand on the duct above the furnace, that duct is warm.. supplying warm air into the home.

I can't see the photo very well, but what's with the big slap of tape on the bottom of the return duct?

The manual for the furnace seemed to indicate that the supply was on the left side in this case,
Correct.

But intuition would say the supply is on the right, since that's where the air is coming from.
No, Many many people always get that mixed up, I've seen a numbers of air filter put in wrong thinking the air is coming out of the bottom of the furnace.. Arrow on the air filter should be pointing towards the blower.

Also, if you look at the picture, there's a tube that runs right in the middle of both sides,
I only see the Exhaust flue pipe, and the A/C line on the supply side, and then I see nothing on the return side.

Best spot to put the humidifier is on the return duct above the yellow sticker there.. Then run the bypass duct to the left into the supply duct.
 
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Old 02-16-09, 11:02 AM
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The two pieces of tape on the bottom of the return side is where the filter goes. There's a piece of sheet metal that slides into slots that are created by the tape.

So if I put it above the yellow sticker, I would just connect the bypass to the supply side, right above where the exhaust flue pipe is?
 
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Old 02-16-09, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by raungst View Post
The two pieces of tape on the bottom of the return side is where the filter goes. There's a piece of sheet metal that slides into slots that are created by the tape.
What kind or size of filter you got going in there? Seem like it's in the middle of the return vs next to the furnace.

So if I put it above the yellow sticker, I would just connect the bypass to the supply side, right above where the exhaust flue pipe is?
Correct.
 
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Old 02-16-09, 11:45 AM
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It's a 20x25x1. It's in there at an angle (top left of the taped area to bottom right), so it covers the entire width. There's some flanges that keep in place, so it seems like its meant to be there.

What are your concerns? We bought the house from the bank, so there wasn't really anyone to ask questions to. We've been discovering things as we go along. Luckily, so far, nothing has been too horrible.
 
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Old 02-16-09, 11:49 AM
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Ok, no worries then.. Just wasn't sure how it was laid out in the return.. Just make sure you stay on top keeping the filter cleaned, and arrow pointing towards the blower.
 
 

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